Republic of Malta

Malta - Criminal Code 1854 (2013) EN



Title IV Of the Criminal Court

452. (1) Save as otherwise expressly provided, an interpreter shall not be chosen from among the jurors, counsel for the accused, witnesses, referees, or other persons employed in the service of the court or of the Attorney General, with the exception of the official interpreter. It shall, however, be lawful for any of the parties to take objection against the official interpreter or any other person appointed to act as interpreter, before the same enters upon his duties, and any such objection shall be determined by the court.

(2) Nevertheless, it shall be lawful for the court to appoint any person employed in the service of the court to act as interpreter, if it appears to its satisfaction that sufficient inquiries have been made and that no other person suitable to act as interpreter could be found.

(3) The person appointed to act as interpreter, if he is not in the building in which the court is sitting, shall be summoned by means of a subpoena.

(4) Any person residing in Malta, who, being appointed to act as interpreter, shall, without a just cause, fail to appear at the time and place appointed by the court, or shall refuse to act as interpreter, or shall leave the court before he is dismissed, may be dealt with as a witness who fails to appear to give evidence, or who, having appeared, refuses to give evidence, or leaves the court before he is discharged.

(5) The provision contained in article 633(2) shall apply if the interpreter is the husband or wife of the accused, or is related to the accused by consanguinity in any of the degrees mentioned in that article, or if other particular circumstances occur.

(6) The interpreter appointed by the court, if he is not a person employed in the service of the Government, shall be entitled to a remuneration to be fixed by the court according to circumstances.

Rome Statute

Article 50 Official and working languages

1. The official languages of the Court shall be Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The judgements of the Court, as well as other decisions resolving fundamental issues before the Court, shall be published in the official languages. The Presidency shall, in accordance with the criteria established by the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, determine which decisions may be considered as resolving fundamental issues for the purposes of this paragraph.

2. The working languages of the Court shall be English and French. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence shall determine the cases in which other official languages may be used as working languages.

3. At the request of any party to a proceeding or a State allowed to intervene in a proceeding, the Court shall authorize a language other than English or French to be used by such a party or State, provided that the Court considers such authorization to be adequately justified.

Article 55 Rights of persons during an investigation

2. Where there are grounds to believe that a person has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court and that person is about to be questioned either by the Prosecutor, or by national authorities pursuant to a request made under Part 9, that person shall also have the following rights of which he or she shall be informed prior to being questioned:

(c) To have legal assistance of the person's choosing, or, if the person does not have legal assistance, to have legal assistance assigned to him or her, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by the person in any such case if the person does not have sufficient means to pay for it; and

Article 87 Requests for cooperation: general provisions

2. Requests for cooperation and any documents supporting the request shall either be in or be accompanied by a translation into an official language of the requested State or one of the working languages of the Court, in accordance with the choice made by that State upon ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. Subsequent changes to this choice shall be made in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.